Inter coach Rafael Benitez has opened the door to Mario Balotelli leaving the club as Chelsea cut across Manchester City's path for the striker.
Massimo Moratti and the player's agent Mino Raiola ran the rule over the hitman after suggesting he was likely to leave.
The club chief said City's interest was real, whereas Raiola confirmed on Monday his client was heading out as "all doors remained open," hinting other clubs were on standby in case City talks crumble.
And Benitez has joined the chorus of voices as he holds the door from closing. The Spaniard's words, aware Balotelli is negotiating with City who are in Italy to close a deal, suggest he is relying on Samuel Eto'o for next season.
The coach also admitted he would be powerless to stop Balotelli from being sold as he steps away from talks.
"Balotelli? Lets wait and see what happens. The club decides the transfer market and I adapt. The fact remains that one player doesn't make the team, and Inter have plenty of strong players," Benitez told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I have spoken to Eto'o. He is a great professional and is ready to do what the team needs."
City appear strongest to sign the striker, but Raiola's throw-away line of "all doors remain open, there are other clubs," has led to reports claiming Chelsea are trying to stop City and shop the hitman.
Gazzetta reports Inter have received a substantial offer from City, but they are waiting for Chelsea to make their move and respond.
They are keen on "Supermario" as coach Carlo Ancelotti feels he will be a better partner for Didier Drogba compared to Fernando Torres - the Blues other notable target.
It seems Inter are hoping the trio of clubs, Manchester United are also hovering, contend each other in a bidding frenzy as they press for the best possible deal.
Sky Sport Italia claim Balotelli will not leave with the team for their friendly tour at the weekend, adding further weight that he will seal his transfer to the Premier League by the end of the week.